‘Just because you love doing something doesn’t mean it’s wise to do it all day long. I love coaching but the intensity of personal connection also makes it quite draining for me. I find writing extremely fulfilling but as an extrovert I need to balance it with human interaction and external stimulation. Speeches and interviews are a joy, but after a certain number of hours on stage I have nothing left! I couldn’t do any of these things as solitary endeavour, but when I combine them in the right proportions each enables the others.’
– Michela Lecher career coach/writer/speaker
Last time, I tried to provide some guidance on embracing your slash life by looking at the questions, What and Why? What does one slash and why would one choose to do so? Hopefully you found the insight helpful and are fully ready and positioned to embrace the slash life that awaits you.
In continuation, today I want to discuss the ‘When’. As Motherland Moguls I’m sure you are all used to your passionate mothers saying over and over again that, timing is everything. Yup, Mama knows best! This is a crucial concept when it comes to the slash life. The timing of your slash is enough to make or break it. I believe having the correct strategy is half the battle won, and a big part of strategy is timing.
The first question you need address is: What is my anchor slash at this point in my life? The reason I say this is simply because it is not possible to add a slash to something that is not there.
Take this simple visualisation of a slash life, ‘A/B’. If the ‘A’ was unstable or not present then it will read ‘/B’ which is not a slash life at all. The first part of the slash has to be stable for you to ‘add on’.
So that been said ladies let’s get in formation! Here are 4 tips on when to embrace your sLASH (in other words that other thing you do)…
1. The Anchor vs Orbiter Dynamic
Spend some time making sure that that the ‘anchor’ is solid before you add anything else to it. Any good career adviser will tell you that to get a new job, you need to be killing it at your current job. This demonstrates the capacity to do something well. For your slash life, it is the same. Invest the time in getting your ‘anchor’ slash correct before moving on to embracing something new. I really think this is crucial.
For me, my anchor slash is my job in finance. The moment that begins to slip, everything else slips as well. This is simply because this aspect of my life currently takes up most of my time, so the longer it takes for me to sort that out, the less time and energy I can give to my slashes. Think of it as solidifying the base and creating a pretty strong platform for the other skills to nicely orbit around.
2. Have Clear Goals
A slash is not something that you just pick up randomly. You have to make a slash goal. Now guys, this language around ‘slashing’ is just a mechanism for you to address a process I believe is very natural to all of us. In other words, it is nothing new. A good slash is a well thought out slash. Before I knew what job I would do, I always knew I wanted to write and speak. The wisdom is not in knowing what your talents are and planning for them, it is knowing WHEN it is the right time to do so.
For some of you this is the time to begin to plan your future slash once your anchor is solid. For some, it is time to put those very detailed plans into action and ‘work smart’, for some it is time to reduce the amount of time your anchor slash takes because it has achieved its goals and begin to actively develop your slash. Everyone is different. The key here is to understand where you personally are on the journey, and do not compare! The only person you should try to be better than is who you were yesterday.
3. Double or Triple Time
Okay so let’s assume you are a total badass at this and your anchor is solid and strong and you have taken up a slash. How much time should you spend on each? I put it to you ladies that it is not really about the amount of time you put it, but the amount of energy and focus it extracts from you. If you have three slashes, your energy and strategic efforts should be divided amongst the three equally, even if your time is not.
So for example, I have three slashes currently. Work, my website (a platform for guidance and inspiration) and my charity. They all take up the same amount of energy, even though they occupy different amounts of time. A slash should be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with another one in terms of your commitment to it. If it cannot, then please down grade it to a side gig or side hustle which you can start and stop at any time.
4. Seasons of Life
One of my most treasured books in the world explains how there is a time for everything. A time to slash and a time to wait. A time to let an old slash go and a time to embrace a new one. I really believe this is true. Sometimes a slash is not meant to be for the long haul -some slashes are seasonal. It may have seemed like the best idea to start a company when you were younger, and now it looks like the vision has evolved and you need to re-brand it. That’s fine. Or, your company might be going through downtime, which means you need to increase your independent income, time to dust off those slash skills and put them into work. What is my point here? Be flexible! Resilience is key to make sure you can adapt to the times.
So LADIES! Think hard and long about when to take something else on fully and as I always say, superwoman your way to total Badassery! You can do it!